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Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010

LeBron, Cavs extend winning streak to 13

CLEVELAND (AP) When he arrived in Cleveland, Shaquille O'Neal made it clear there would be no more double-teaming Orlando's Dwight Howard.

He would handle things himself, as he did Thursday night. Oh, and he wants his cape back.

"I don't really consider it manning up until you play me straight up," O'Neal said. "I've never doubled anybody. So you tell me who the real Superman is."

LeBron James had 32 points and 13 assists as the Cavaliers — with a big fourth-quarter defensive effort from O'Neal — matched their franchise record by winning their 13th straight game with a 115-106 victory over the Magic.

It was a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals, and both teams are again on top of the East this year, but O'Neal, who had 10 points and six rebounds on Thursday, has made a huge difference for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers are 4-0 this season against the Lakers and Magic, teams they struggled to beat a year ago.

"We swept San Antonio in the regular season (in 2007), then got to the Finals and they swept us in the Finals," James said. "You want to win those games, of course. What you do in the regular season is good, but once the playoffs start, everyone is 0-0."

"It doesn't matter who's on the floor. Just to play the game at a high level is always fun," Howard said, downplaying his matchup with O'Neal.

Howard finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

Spurs 111, Nuggets 92

In Denver, George Hill scored 17 points after starting in place of an injured Tony Parker and San Antonio never trailed in routing cold-shooting Denver.

Nene had 20 points for the Nuggets.

Schaus passes away

NEW YORK (AP) Fred Schaus, a former Los Angeles Lakers coach and general manager who mentored Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley at West Virginia, has died. He was 84.

The former West Virginia coach and athletic director died Wednesday night in Morgantown, W.Va., said Dan Hastings, a funeral director at Hastings Funeral Home. Schaus had been living in a nursing home.

"Fred's passing brings finality to a relationship that began in 1955, when he first came to our house to introduce himself as the coach of West Virginia University," West said in a statement released by the school.

A Cabin Creek native, West recalled Schaus telling him WVU would be the place for him to attend school and have an opportunity to play basketball.

"At that point in my life, he was the first coach to show interest in me," said West. "I was thrilled beyond words, and to this day I remember much about our meeting. Little did I know what a long-lasting relationship we would have."

Born in Newark, Ohio, Schaus became the first Mountaineers player to score 1,000 career points. He was drafted by the Fort Wayne Pistons of the NBA and also played for the New York Knicks from 1949-54.

He compiled a 127-26 record as head coach at West Virginia from 1954-60, including six straight NCAA tournament berths. The Mountaineers, led by West, advanced to the NCAA championship game in 1959, losing to California 71-70.

Schaus followed West to the Lakers, going 315-245 in seven seasons as head coach and guiding the team to four NBA Finals before becoming general manager in 1967. The 1971-72 Lakers, behind West and Wilt Chamberlain, won a then-record 69 games in the regular season and beat the Knicks for the NBA title.

"We shared many incredible experiences, both joyous and painful, during our years together at WVU and then as my coach with the Los Angeles Lakers," West said. "As a young man with little experience with the outside world, he became my mentor and sounding board as I progressed as an athlete and as a person."

Schaus returned to the college ranks in 1972, going 105-59 in six seasons as head coach at Purdue. He also served as athletic director at West Virginia from 1981-89 before he retired.

Kobe, Iverson out

DALLAS (AP) Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers won't play in the All-Star Game this weekend.

Both former NBA MVPs were voted into the starting lineups by fans.

The NBA announced Thursday that Bryant will be replaced by Dallas point guard Jason Kidd on the Western Conference roster. Iverson's spot in the Eastern Conference will be filled by New York forward David Lee.

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